Leaders, have you ever delegated a task or responsibility to someone, only to end up having to “own it” for them in the end, to keep everything from crashing? How frustrating is that!
In those instances, I have found myself thinking (and even saying—gasp!) “It would have been easier to do it myself!”
And then the Lord slows my roll. 🙂
I had one these instance happen the other day and when I was trying to process how this happened and started asking myself why there seems to be a pattern of this happening, I finally did a dangerous thing: I asked God “What’s the real issue here?”
The startling thing was that he answered immediately. As soon as I got done utter my prayer of frustration, this thought entered my mind ever so gently: “Did you practice the golden rule?”
Did you practice the golden rule when you delegated? When you asked this person to own this responsibility, did you ask them the way you would want to be asked?
BAM! Golden Rule Delegation—what would that look like? So I got out my journal and this is what I came up with…
“Do unto others what you’d have them to do to you.”
How would I want my leader to delegate a task, responsibility, or leadership role to me?
1. Let me know you love God and care about me. HEART.
– Let me see through your actions that your chief motivation is for building the Lord’s Kingdom, not your own.
– Ask me questions about my life, my family, my purpose, my dreams.
– Pray for me.
2. Let me see what you see. EYE.
– Convey the cause—I will be drawn to what I am called to.
– Share your strategy—what’s the overall plan of attack?
3. Clarify the mission in writing. TARGET.
– Define the non-negotiables—boundaries, cultural necessities (outer circle)
– Define the primary objective—make clear all expectations: NO LAST MINUTE SURPRISES!! (secondary circle)
– Paint a picture of what “mission accomplished” looks like—(inner circle)
4. Give me the tools I need to succeed. TOOLBOX.
– Protection—prayer, covering of leadership
– Provision—resources to get the job done: $, people
– Communication—simple and excellent systems defined
5. Don’t leave me alone. COACH.
– Be a regular voice in my life that develops me as a leader.
– Support me when I fail and help me get better.
– Bring guidance, encouragement, correction, and wisdom.
6. Challenge me to step up in a significant way. STAR.
– Display that you know me in how you ask—knowledge of my dreams, my gifts, my current situation, etc.
– Be specific with this “big ask” and call me higher. Tell me what you see in me and how this assignment could move me towards my purpose.
– Ask me to pray about it and get back with you at a specific time.
Doing this exercise made me realize that in my own leadership I have a tendency to do #1 and #2 well, and then I jump straight to #6. In fact, when I was writing this out originally, I listed the “STAR” portion third…because that is my normal M.O. Later on, the Lord showed me that that was exactly the problem.
Because my leaders like me and feel alignment with the vision, they many times feel compelled to say “yes” to my premature BIG ASKs, but they don’t really know what they are saying “yes” to because I have not done the necessary due diligence of steps 3, 4, and 5 to help them adequately know what success looks like, count the cost, and then feel like they have the backing to go out there and do it well. OUCH.
Today is a big learning day for me. Looking in the mirror is sometimes painful, but in the end it is good. I am grateful that God loves me enough to be honest with me.
What about you?
This is HOW I would want my leader to delegate something to me. How would you want your leader to ask you to help?